Feds look for offshore wind farm developers in Gulf of Mexico

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The federal government is looking for companies interested in building renewable energy operations on the Gulf Coast and creating jobs in the area.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will publish a request for interest in the Federal Register on Friday, June 11 to assess interest in potential offshore wind development in the Gulf of Mexico.

The request will be focused on wind energy development offshore from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.

“We are in the early stages, and the federal government is just gauging to see if any companies are interested,” said John Filostrat, BOEM public relations officer for the Gulf of Mexico Region.

Once the request is published, the RFI will open a 45-day public comment period for project bids and provide additional information on potential environmental consequences and other uses of the proposed area.

BOEM is also hosting its first Gulf of Mexico Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting on June 15 virtually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The task force comprises of members representing federal, Tribal, state, and local governments, including Mississippi. The public is invited to attend the meeting to ask questions or comment on the development.

“It is too early to say if we will have windmills in the Gulf Coast,” said Filostrat.

This development is under the current presidential administration’s goal to create thousands of jobs through the deployment of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, which will create nearly 80,000 jobs.

“The Interior Department is committed to developing a robust and sustainable clean energy economy,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “We know that offshore wind development has the potential to create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs across the nation. This is an important first step to see what role the Gulf may play in this exciting frontier.”

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